“If you want to cultivate the mind of your pupil, you have first to cultivate the strength of his/her body, that is the one which must support his/her mind; make the pupil strong and healthy to make him wise and intelligent.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
From carbohydrate loaded school meals to soda machines to cutting recess to reducing, if not eliminating all together, physical education classes — our schools are failing our children’s health and wellness. What are we going to do?
The First Lady, Michelle Obama, has started to increase awareness of the childhood obesity epidemic and she has taken some proactive steps. Her Let’s Move initiative is a step in the right direction. Her food recommendations for the school menus needs work, but that is for another posting.
An ABC news report stated that are nearly three hundred and fifty million people world-wide with type II diabetes. In the same report it was stated that 35 to 40% of new cases are happening in younger and younger people. Some who are only in only the fifth grade. That means children as young as ten years old are being diagnosed with what was commonly referred to as ADULT onset diabetes.
So what was an answer? Well, the barbaric, bariatric butchers are starting to cut into these children. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it.
Gastric by-pass surgery on children! Really? A reduced stomach capacity in a child! Really? Potential malabsorption issues for the rest of one’s life, which hopefully could be decades! Really?
Gastric by-pass surgery is rarely, if ever, genuinely necessary in adults and it sure as hell is NOT warranted in children. I have to wonder what is the logic of people when the answer is so simple. Obesity is not a complex issue and the solutions are not complex either. The only difficulty is that we have to practice self-discipline. We have to learn to say no to ourselves and to our children when it comes to unhealthy food choices.
We also need to start getting on our school boards and administrators. They need to step up and take responsibility for their actions and decisions. Physical education needs to be implemented five days a week. Food options need to stop including starches, refined sugars and nutrient deficient foods. Soda machines need to be banned from the school property.
Administrators need to start educating our educators. I recently gave a presentation to area teachers titled: The Role of Educators in Student Fitness, Wellness and Nutrition. It was well received and those in attendance were hungry for the information. Teachers are willing to learn and they are more than willing to help — they just need the tools to get the job done.
Perhaps most importantly, we as a society need to stop looking for the answers to our weakness at the bottom of a pill bottle or the end of a surgeon’s scalpel. The solution is no more difficult than desire, determination and discipline. All of us need to do our part to beat back the scourge that may shorten our children’s life span and most definitely destroy their quality of life.
He is available to speak to any school, association or group. He will make himself available to any talk radio, internet podcasting or television outlet. He has appeared on Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; 94.3 FM’s Tough Talk With Joe Peters; Lisa Davis’ Your health radio; Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast; Hank Garner’s Podcast among many personal speaking engagements.